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Seattle Parks and Recreation

Genesee Park and Playfield

Address: 4316 S Genesee St, 98118 (Map It)
Seattle Parks and Recreation Information:
(206) 684-4075 | Contact Us TTY Phone: (206) 233-1509

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4 a.m. - 11:30 p.m.


Genesee Park and Playfield is a broad, rough meadow that stretches for about 5 blocks north from Genesee Street to Stan Sayres Memorial Park on Lake Washington Boulevard.

Set in a quiet neighborhood, the atmosphere is quite soothing. It contains a huge and open grassy area for a playfield.

Genesee also has a fully fenced 2 1/2 acres off-leash area with double gates, a doggie drinking fountain and a kiosk for community notices.

Acreage: 57.7


Before Lake Washington was lowered nine feet in 1917, Genesee Park was known as Wetmore Slough and extended on to Rainier Avenue and the little town of Columbia City. Residents of Columbia City once hoped to make their town into an important seaport by dredging the slough to allow the passage of ships. The departing waters left only marshlands and little islands, with hardly enough water to sail a toy boat.

The far end of the slough was completely filled in about 1920. In 1947, when the city purchased the property, the city began a "sanitary fill" between Genesee and Lake Washington Blvd. This fill was composed mostly of garbage and was anything but sanitary. It attracted flocks of seagulls and hordes of rats for almost two decades. After 1957, it also attracted hordes of hydroplane fans, who parked their cars there and went off to watch the annual Gold Cup races from the new Stan Sayres hydro pits.

Seattle voters approved the area as a park in 1960, but development did not begin until after 1968, when the park became a Forward Thrust project. Today, after more than a hundred years of gradual metamorphosis, Genesee takes its place as one of the growing number of parks which rest on foundations of recycled garbage.

To learn more about Seattle Parks and Recreation, including historic landmarks, military base reuse, and the Sherwood History Files, view our Park History.


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Genesee Combined Sewer Overflow Project
- Genesee CSO

Parks & Green Spaces
- Playfield Improvements

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